Genre: YA Contemporary Sci-fi Mystery
Publication: January 19, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Acquisition: read a free eARC via NetGalley
In this genre-bending YA thriller, will Sarah Merson's shiny new prep school change her life forever or bring it to a dark and sinister end?
When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn't sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate's dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay's glossy reputation.
In this genre-bending YA thriller, Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, Sarah's new school may seem like an idyllic temple of learning, but as she unearths years of terrifying history and manipulation, she discovers this "school" is something much more sinister.(from Goodreads)
4 / 5 Stars
I'm a total sucker for a good boarding school mystery. And creepy abandoned asylums? Yep, love those too. Oh! And secluded secret islands? Yeppy yep!
Sanctuary Bay basically has all these things - so, even though the story irked me a bit here and there, overall, I was a very happy reader.
What didn't I like?
The implausibility of certain things...the way the characters developed...Sarah, our MC didn't quite do it for me at times...
It was all very minor though.
What did I like?
Pretty much everything else. Yeah Sarah annoyed me but I loved the way her brain worked and I love how even though I was so so sure of what was going on, because she had doubt, I had doubt. It very much felt like I was living Sarah's life with her. So, maybe not very plausible scenarios but still very realistic ones.
The mystery was kind of predictable but also a bit unique. The romance(s) was great! It wasn't over the top or eye roll worthy and all of the relationships felt very genuine.
Contemporary fans, sci-fi fans, mystery fans - I think a lot of different readers could enjoy this one and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it!